Australian Open – Day 3 (2R)

In the picture, Verdasco’s reaction after winning epic matches at the US Open ’10 & Australian Open ’11.

As Fernando Verdasco [9] won amazing five-set match from two-sets-to-love against David Ferrer during the last US Open, we would have expected a long time before he would win another match in such a difficult situation. However he did it today on Hisense Arena overcoming Janko Tipsarevic [49] in extraordinary circumstances. After winning the first two sets, Tipsarevic led 3:1* (40-0) in the 4th set, Verdasco saved the triple break point with an ace and two brilliant winners DTL. Later on, Tipsarevic led 5:3* (30-0), and Verdasco won two consecutive points with help of an amateurish drop-shot and overhead! The Serb served once again to win the match at 6:5, after the second-serve ace he had double match point – Verdasco saved both match points with passing-shots (Tipsarevic played three volleys at the second m.p.!). The drama was continuing when Tipsarevic saved two break points to get another match point. Two points before,  Verdasco signalized problems with his right ankle, but was running amazingly during the third m.p., and after a lot of stretching from both sides, Carlos Ramos overruled a decision of the linesman which would have given a match for the Serb, who couldn’t challenge the ball due to lack of challenges remaining! It was a turning point of the match, after that rally Tipsarevic lost everything, his energy, his concentration and his fighting spirit – Verdasco notched a streak of 19 points won in a row (!) and comfortably got the 5th set, finishing the match with three consecutive aces, served 23 aces during his almost 3-hour 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-0 triumph. Verdasco: “I think that…every time you win one match like this in a Grand Slam it’s important for yourself to get confidence to see that you are good physically and mentally. It was of course, very important win after coming again two sets to love down, and also saving match point in the fourth set…I think it’s very positive for me.”
Verdasco’s compatriot, Nicolas Almagro [14] also won a match escaping from match points in the 4th set. In the tie-break of the 4th set against Igor Andreev [75], Almagro saved two match points (5:6, 7:8) with attacking style – on the second match point Andreev had relatively easy ball to pass the Spaniard. Andreev led also *4:2 (deuce) in the 5th set but lost after almost 4 hours. Six years ago in Miami, Andreev beat Almagro (7-6, 2-6, 7-6) saving two match points in the final set tie-break…
Tomas Berdych [6] was virtually on verge to lose his second round clash from match points up in the 4th set as well, playing against one of the toughest unseeded opponents – Philipp Kohlschreiber [35]. In the 4th set, Berdych couldn’t convert match points in two games, then at break point, felt relief serving an ace and eventually advanced to the third round after 6th match point, in 3 hours 3 minutes (4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4).

Longest match:
3 hours, 54 minutes: Nicolas Almagro d. Igor Andreev 7-5, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6(10), 7-5
Most aces:
23 – Fernando Verdasco, defeated in five sets Janko Tipsarevic
5-set barometer:
18-14 Roger Federer
14-8 Fernando Verdasco
13-7 Janko Tipsarevic
8-7 Nicolas Almagro
5-8 Igor Andreev
5-3 Gilles Simon
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